when we’re on point


one of those facebook things. the tail end of anyway…
Day Five of the Five Poems/Five Day Challenge

Each day I will share one of my poems and tag someone else to share five poems in five days of their own. Shout out to Jessica Lindsley for tagging me in something pretty cool rather than something involving ice buckets or whatnot. i highly recommend seeking out her work and here’s a jumpstart, “Fourteen” published in Literary Orphans.

thinking about all the various challenges we face in the day to day of being human. how vast the varied experience. you and i may share nothing much in common except hopefully at some point in every life when faced with those challenges, the gift of knowing someone in that moment that helps carry us through. when we’re on point we celebrate these people. i bet you know a good candidate in your life right now and you should probably tell them. i don’t know..just a thought.

Alternatively, where’s the card that says ‘hey sorry, Dad, but you’ve been a real disappointment.’ and why do we get so bent out of shape when anyone expresses this? it’s too often true, isn’t it? anyway, i’m not into dwelling. i figure the people that failed to show up in my life, only left the room needed for those that did. my own personal challenges have never been greater than the love, generous support, encouragement, guidance and care of some of the people i have been blessed to know and share my life with. Papa is no longer with us but I do think of him on Father’s Day.

All the meandering to the point of he makes an appearance in today’s shared poem as do others on the line and in between. Lucky as of late with strong characters in my life..

Papa made the best pancakes. Cigar boxes, dime rolls, Cardinals radio, and blackberries will forever remind me of him. They called him “Spud” but nobody really knows why. He had a reserved seat at the bar but watched the door from across the street, refusing to go in for damn years over the wrong mug. Tugboat Captain, a legit Seabee, a writer of letters, a romantic, an ornery bastard. never re-married or even thought of it. Adopted father to my mother. good arms, a ready knee. among many other things like you won’t melt in the rain, here is where i was taught the value of kindness and principles.

“Cemetery Poem” was first published by Catfish McDaris at ppigpenn and is part of the collection Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days out now from Punk Hostage Press. thanks for reading

Cemetery Poem (for my love)

i’m sitting here at the
talking to myself
i think i’ll probably
be here awhile
be doing this
wondering all along
if it will be enough

this is where i go
when none of it makes sense
just so you know

where it is quiet
my mind quiets
there is some sort of peace
in the finality

i think of papa
his letters
sent home while
out on the river
or out to sea
for months
and months on end
starting the letter, stopping
and beginning again
if only a sentence or two
in between the work
that keeps him away

how he called her
my love
and still she
drank just a little too much
a little too often

all this i learn from old letters
see in yellowed photographs

how she stared off-center
with a sadness around
the eyes
only laughing in the photo
when he’s seated next to her
and all those years
since she died
he lived on, puttering
through life

i wonder if he
pretended she was there
for the rest of it
for the baseball games
over the radio
the mornings in the garden
the looking out over
what does it matter

today on duncan avenue
in diamond grove cemetery
it does not matter
i talk to myself
i will lie down
in the earth by myself
search for you
in the next life
and hope
it will be easier

Michele McDannold is the author of Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days, a book of poetry available from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. For more, please visit michelemcdannold.com.